5 Mythical Creatures Sure to Haunt Your Dreams
By Kira Fahmy
Editor's Note: Nefarious creatures from beyond have haunted the imaginations of people around the globe. Fangs, teeth, claws: all the perfect weapons to tear human flesh.
Here are 5 horrifying creatures to top off your Halloween.
Mongolian Death Worm
The Gobi Desert of Mongolia has a worm problem. Known as the Olgoi Khorkhoi (in reference to its resemblance to the large intestine), or simply as Death Worm, this creature is said to slither undetected beneath the rolling sand dunes. However, when the June and July rains come to Mongolia, the Death Worm can emerge from below the surface, spitting erosive yellow venom and flashing its sharp inverted teeth. Legend claims that the Death Worm can range in size anywhere from three to 100 feet. But its color is undisputed: a deep scaly red with spikes on both ends.
Orang-bati Half bat. Half monkey. Would you believe it? No? Well neither did English Missionary Tyson Hughes, who visited the Indonesian Island of Seram in 1987 and heard talk of the Orang-bati, a black-winged flying monster that kidnapped local children. However, Hughes’s doubts were gone when he was said to have had a real life encounter with the beast.
More recently, Richard Terry of National Geographic attempted to capture this cryptid, but to no avail. The creatures are said to emit a mourning wail while approaching and to carry their prey to the volcano Mount Kairatu.
In their song entitled Black Shuck, the British rock band The Darkness sings, “In a town in the east, the parishioners were visited upon by a curious beast. And his eyes numbered but one and shone like the sun, and a glance beckoned the immediate loss of a cherished one.” This cryptid has made its way into British popular culture and timeless folklore. The song references the Black Shuck’s most popular attack - a 16th century rampage through a church in Blythburgh England. The Black Shuck is said to resemble a large ghostly black dog with glowing red eyes. In 2014, a Daily Mail headline declared, “Is this the skeleton of legendary devil dog Black Shuck who terrorised 16th century East Anglia? Folklore tells of SEVEN FOOT hell hound with flaming eyes,” propelling the myth back into the public eye as well as suggesting the scariest thing of all: the potential truth behind it.
Jersey Devil Panic spread throughout Southern New Jersey in January of 1909. Odd tracks were being found in the snow, and a sense panic spread throughout the region that boiled down to one conclusion: The Jersey Devil. This fear was so widespread that schools closed and factories experienced worker shortages. Citizens feared that the winged, hoofed, and horse-headed creature was coming for them next. The Jersey Devil was said to have originated in colonial times, when a mother declared that if she were to have a 13th child, “Let this one be a devil!” And the devil it was. What was initially a healthy newborn transformed into what is now the Jersey Devil, both a source of South Jersey fear and pride.
Australian Drop Bear
The legend of the Drop Bear has incited fear in tourists and glee in Australian locals who love to spread a good scary story. Visitors are warned of a blood thirsty mega-Koala who could drop from the high branches of eucalyptus or gum trees at any given moment. Claws bared and fangs out, the Drop Bear will incapacitate its victim upon impact, and proceed to feast. It seems as if the whole country is in on the joke. The Australian Museum, the continent’s oldest museum focused on anthropology, natural history, and zoology, has a page on its website dedicated to the classification of the Drop Bear, or Thylarctos plummetus, species. However, there is good news. Preventative measures such as coating yourself in Vegemite or wearing a wide brimmed hat are shown to aid against Drop Bear attacks.
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